“A personalised induction will always be more effective”. Discuss. Every successful hypnotherapy session must have an induction ensuring that the client is relaxed and is in a disassociated state in order fully experience the process. The type of induction used can be dependent on the personal preferences of the therapist or the type of hypnotherapy being undertaken in the session. There has been some debate as to whether a generic induction will be suitable for all clients or as some hypnotherapists advocate that only a personalised screed to each client will do. Commercial hypnotherapy which is produced for the mass market is widely available in CD, book or e formats. These materials deal with common issues such as giving up smoking, weight loss etc and by their very nature have to be generic as there is no option for personalisation. However as there is no therapist present at these sessions, the success of commercial non personalised screeds cannot be assessed. In my opinion, commercial materials can reach many people but they are more about making money for the person producing them than about making a difference for the individual. It is also impossible to have a personalised induction if the therapist is holding a group session.
In hypnosis the therapist relies on verbal communication rather than on body language. Psychology professor Albert Mehrabian studied communication and stated that how humans communicate can be broken down into quantities; ie words account for 7%, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and body language accounts for 55%. Therefore the vocabulary the therapist uses becomes vitally important to how successful the therapy will be for the client. Therapists who prefer a personalised approach believe that preparation of the client is essential especially if they have no previous experience of hypnotherapy and/or have pre-conceived ideas. Discussion before the session is crucial to discover what the client’s expectations are and when necessary, allay fears and correct their beliefs. During this discussion the therapist can also probe to discover the clients’ preferred or dominant modality. Modalities were defined by Bandler and Grinder the “Language of our minds”. (Chrysalis, Module 2). The three major modalities are, Kinaesthetic (feeling), Visual (sight), Auditory (hearing) as well as the two minor modalities of Olfactory (smell) and Gustatory (taste). As individuals we all have a preference for the way we perceive and process our experiences and in order to create a personalised induction, the therapist will try to ascertain the client’s preference during the initial interview and discussion. During the induction, the client may have his eyes closed or the therapist may not be within sight, so communication with the client using their preferred imagery will help them feel more comfortable. Kinaesthetic people have a preference for vocabulary which will invite them to feel. For example in an induction where the client is in their special place outdoors, you could suggest the client feels the warmth of a breeze as it moves through the trees. Whereas for those with a visual modality it could be suggested that they imagine leaves moving in the warm breeze in the nearby trees, while those with an auditory modality may feel more comfortable if it is suggested that they can hear the rustle of the leaves when they are moved by the warm breeze. Language and imagery can also have a negative effect on the client, Karle and Boys (1987, p45) suggest that imagery is first planned with the client to ensure it is acceptable and congenial. The example they use is suggesting descent by means of using a lift to a client who is phobic of lifts. Therefore it is important to have some personalisation in the induction. There is, however, a risk of mis-judging an individual during the initial interview and consultation that the therapist must be aware of. The client may present an image that they think the therapist...
Bibliography: Karle, H. Boys, J. (1987) Hypnotherapy a Practical Handbook. London: Free Association Books.
Hadley, J. Staudacher, C. (1996) Hypnosis for Change. USA: New Harbinger Publications.
Heap, M. Dryden, W. (1991) Hypnotherapy: a Handbook. Berkshire: Open University Press.
Chrysalis Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. Year One – Hypnotherapy and Counselling skills – Module 2 Hypnosis and Mental Health. Further techniques – Counselling skills 1
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